You look out the window to a beautiful day outside and decide, let’s go for a bike ride! And then the question comes to mind, is my kid safe on a bike? It is important to recognize that yes, bike accidents do happen, especially in young families with new bikers. When accidents happen, young bikers should be as prepared as possible by being aware of bike safety.
Biking as a Form of Transportation
While bikes are used for fun things, the safest way for kids to use bikes is for transportation. This mindset might change the way young families look at biking for their kids. Using bikes as transportation also allows parents to set up boundaries as to where kids are allowed to ride. This could be to a friend’s house just down the street. Now that the kid has a specific destination in mind, proper bike handling on the street can become a priority for getting from point A to point B. If there are bike paths, biking is very safe. If not, it is important that young families make clear the correct side to bike on the road.
Wearing a helmet is perhaps the most important safety precaution that young families can take to ensure that their kids are safe. Bike accidents do happen and the majority of serious accidents are due to head impact. If worn correctly, helmets can help cushion the fall and can be the difference between a fractured skull and a minor concussion, or no injury at all. The straps must always be fastened and pulled snugly under the chin. If the helmet can be tugged around, it is not secured tightly enough.
Independence and Responsibility
Bikes are as safe for kids as they are for adults if kids are responsible in how they ride. For this reason, it is necessary that parents establish clear rules as to when their kids can bike because kids are not yet fully aware of all the dangers. If kids are told to wear bright clothes, put reflectors on their bikes, wear shoes, and take out their headphones, then kids will be more visible on the road and will be more aware of their surroundings. This can help them make decisions on the road and take defensive action if an accident were to occur.
Biking is a fun and easy way for parents to give their kids a little more freedom. If parents prepare their kids for the worst and help them to understand the importance of being responsible for their own safety, biking is not only safe for kids, but also an incredible opportunity for growth and development.